Beware the Gifts of Liars

Image result for images of gwydion the enchanter

I am reminded of an ancient Welsh tale from The Mabinogion.

The hero Pryderi, for services rendered, received a wonderful gift from the king of Underworld–pigs. At that time, those were the only domestic pigs in Britain. All the other chieftains were jealous.

For reasons too shameful to relate here, Prince Gwydion, trickster and magician, schemed to get the pigs away from Pryderi. He tried to earn them as a reward, but Pryderi had already promised the king of Underworld not to sell the pigs or give them away.

So Gwydion said, “I know a way you can let me have the pigs without breaking your promise: neither sell them nor give them to me, but trade them to me in return for something better.”

Pryderi’s eyes dazzled. In return for the pigs, Gwydion was offering him a dozen thoroughbred horses and a dozen pure-bred greyhounds, and both horses and hounds came fully equipped with trappings and accessories in finest gold and silver. Unable to resist such a wonderful offer, Pryderi let Gwydion have the pigs.

And Gwydion said to his servants, “We’ll have to drive these pigs off in a hurry, boys. The magic will only be good until the morning.”

And in the morning Pryderi’s steeds and greyhounds, and all the gold and silver, turned back into dead leaves, broken twigs, and toadstools: for they had never been anything but an illusion conjured up by Gwydion.

This was free stuff before free stuff was invented! This was a man who should have known better parting with something of real value in return for empty, glittering promises. Pryderi wound up losing his life, too: Gwydion killed him when he tried to recover his pigs.

Beware Gwydion’s gifts. If he were alive today, he’d be giving you Social Justice in return for your freedom. And whatever he gave you would turn into crap in the morning.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

4 responses to “Beware the Gifts of Liars

  • UnKnowable

    There’s a great object lesson in some of these old tales. Unfortunately, when people are too busy with video games and smartphones, they seldom take to time to read anything of significance.


    • leeduigon

      The more means of communication we devise, the less we have to communicate.


      • UnKnowable

        In a sense, we have cheapened communications to the point that it is no longer valued. Everybody is suffering information overload because of constant texts, phone calls, emails, etc, and because of that, there is less mental energy available for matters of significance.


  • Linda Sorci

    Glitter and distraction. These are tools of the devil and they’re being implemented to steal (or kill) our civilizations, our cultures, our countries and our wealth. . . and the people slumber on oblivious to it all.


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